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163 Harpeth River Greenway 2009-12-14

Harpeth River Greenway

We didn’t have much time this weekend for our weekly hike, so we looked for something to walk close to our home in Nashville. We decided on the Harpeth River Greenway.

Researching the hike, the Woolwine Trailhead was supposed to be located in Edwin Warner Park. We thought we were familiar with the Warner Park system, and therefore were confused where the trail was. I decided it had to be a part of the Old Natchez Trace, they had just marked it incorrectly on the map. Boy, was I wrong.

Arriving at the parking area, we were shocked to find a paved greenway path right in front of us. Where in the world had we been? There was a greenway path in a Park that we frequent and we didn’t even know it existed.

With excitement we began walking. The path skirted to the outside of the Park’s forested area and followed Hwy 100 to Hicks Rd. Turning left on Hicks and then right back on a path, it traced the boundary of Ensworth School’s campus.

At the Harpeth River we turned right and followed the river for over a mile. The path crosses beneath the Hwy 100 bridge. Continuing, the path ends at the Exchange Club. There was no trailhead at that location either, but the ballfields had plenty of parking. The trail was 2.5 miles to the gate at the entrance of the Exchange Club.

A few trail notes...

  • There were plenty of people walking or running along the path. We might have been the only people in Nashville who did not know the trail existed.
  • The path was level.
  • There was no water or facilities at the trailheads. If open, you might be able to find restrooms and water at the Exchange Club or the Warner Park Nature Center, which is close to the Woolwine Trailhead.
  • Nothing noted the paths existence, signs or kiosks. There were however mileage posts.
  • The Exchange Club is a sports field complex off of McPherson Dr in Bellevue.
  • One short stretch of the path was flooded and iced. It looked wet and even treacherous (if on a bike). We bypassed it through the bushes on the side.
  • On our return trip we visited the Butler Field Trailhead. It was a parking area once again without a kiosk or signs. To add a hill to our walk, after leaving the trailhead we joined the Harpeth Woods Trail (blue blaze) and returned to the parking area by the trail. The total distance was 5.5 miles.
  • The greenway path does not offer much shade.
  • When the path is completed, it will make a great Bellevue to Warner Park linear connection.
  • Linking the Red, White, and Blue trails with the cross-country course and out and back on the greenway the mileage accessible from Warner Parks is now close to 20 miles. It should make a nice varied run.

We were pleasantly surprised by the path. We loved it. We are looking forward to other good surprises.

Happy greenways.


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